What happens if the priest runs out of hosts?


Today at the mass at my parish, the priest ran out of hosts while he was giving out communion and half of the people who had come up to recieve the Lord in the Sacrament did not recieve either the Body or the Blood. The cups that contained the Lord’s Blood, however, were half-full, and it is my understanding that Christ is fully present under both kinds. If I am correct, shouldn’t the priest have given the Blood to the rest of the people who had come up for communion instead of turning them away once the Body was finished? Also there were no hosts in the tabernacle. Perhaps it is worth noting that this priest was not our pastor.

Also, I was asked this question by my sister and I told her the answer was no, but her question was: “Did the people who intended to recieve the Sacrament recieve it anyway even though they didn’t physically recieve it?” Did I give her a correct answer or was I wrong?


Once the priest realized that he was going to run out of hosts, he could have started breaking the remaining hosts in half to double his supply. (Halved hosts could also be broken again if need be.) But yes, the remaining communicants could have been given Communion under the form of the wine alone if no hosts remained.

Those who did not receive Communion do not receive it sacramentally by intention alone. An apology might have been offered to them and an invitation to pray for union with Christ and with one another. This is known as a spiritual communion but does not substitute for a sacramental Communion.

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